1 at Houston St.; C, E at Spring St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
This venue is closed.
The patchwork of frosted panes on the façade only hints at the mix diners can expect at this Hudson Square pioneer. Area advertising execs bask in the warm interior, marked by wood- and leather-paneled walls, thick columns, and a tall communal table that stretches out from the open kitchen where chef Don Pintabona pieces together a mosaic of the Mediterranean with Sicily as its core. Performing its own mix of roles, a smooth, creamy housemade ricotta, enhanced with honey and almonds, acts as a topping for crostini; later dots a springy dish of penne, zucchini, garlic slivers, and parsley; and once more makes a graceful stuffing for zucchini flowers, although the delicate pairing in the last is overwhelmed by a heavy-handed vinaigrette. Pastas are another highlight: Hearty homemade cavatelli is tossed with tender veal cheeks one week, braised lamb the next. But the collage of influences is best exhibited in entrees like smoky grilled prawns with golden lentil puree, red pepper marmalade, and harissa. If only the neighborhood's glossy new towers and sturdy old tenements mingled as nicely.Extra
Three-course prix-fixe lunch, $27.01
House made ricotta, $9; penne rigate with zucchini, $17; grilled prawns, $24